Industry standards are changing around the world, and more businesses are striving to reduce their carbon footprint. The U.S. EPA recently announced $250 million in funding to help state and local governments develop plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Each state, including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, will be eligible to receive up to $3 million in planning grants, and 67 of the most populated metropolitan areas are eligible for $1 million in planning grants. According to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, the grants are “an important first step to equip communities with the resources to create innovative strategies that reduce climate emissions and drive benefits across the country.”
The grants are part of funding from the Inflation Reduction Act’s $5 billion Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) program, which aims to help local governments develop comprehensive climate plans that reduce climate pollution and maximize benefits, “especially for low-income and disadvantaged communities,” according to the EPA press release. The planning grants are only the first portion of funding, and later this year, the EPA plans to make $4.6 billion available to help cities and states carry out their funded plans.
Many businesses have been under fire for failure to meet environmental goals and improper waste disposal, which inevitably leads to environmental pollution. This funding helps provide communities and governments with the means to implement environmental awareness and brings the country closer to reducing a national carbon footprint.
The press release also noted that plans should include greenhouse gas inventories, emissions projections and reduction targets, economic, health, and social benefits, plans to use other federal funding sources, workforce needs, and future government budget and staffing requirements.
EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe said, “Our goal for this foundational planning is to reach as many communities as possible. So, we’re asking state governments to work in collaboration with air pollution control districts and large and small municipalities statewide. And we’re asking local government leaders to work together to design metropolitan area-based plans.”